French author Antoine de Saint-Exupery wrote 'The stars are set alight so that one day each one of us may find his own'. This is very true for winemakers, who carry on their vision with passion, despite the odds and through vintages. Our wine estate, DOMAINE BONABAUD, is the result of big dreams too. It first started when a young man named Emile Bertaud, born in Bordeaux in 1882, decided to settle his winery, CHÂTEAU GAUTHIER, in 1919... just months after the first World War. Still, under his helm, the domain grew steadily to become a "1st growth of Bordeaux", as attested by the influent Charles Cock & Feret Guide in 1946.
Fast forward to 2017, after years living in Chile, Australia, Singapore and Switzerland, and ripe for a new personal challenge, my path crossed that of Château Gauthier, still this venerable vineyard graced with an amazing terroir. Something about the place felt very special: maybe it was the pristine seclusion, the teeming biodiversity, the gently rolling slopes, the cooling sea breeze, the warm light, the rich history... probably all this at once. More importantly, I instantly felt this place would be the ideal setting for the wines I wanted to farm: honest yet elegant, clean yet racy, approachable yet original. Soon after, I took over Château Gauthier and formed Domaine Bonabaud, which brings together the vineyard with its natural environment of river, forest, and pasture.
Since these new beginnings, Domaine Bonabaud has adopted integrated ecological farming and winemaking practices, introduced innovative techniques to mitigate the effects of climate change, planted new grape varietals, and affirmed the commercial livelihood of the estate while developing new distribution channels.
Lastly, since the passing of my father Michel, I have been managing the Domain with my mother, Chantal, whose energy inspires our team every day.
[Fabien Bonabaud, Owner-Winemaker, 2020]